Grand Prix Hearts / Standard Rules

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Joe Andrews
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Grand Prix Hearts / Standard Rules

Post by Joe Andrews » Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:15 pm

I have organized and conducted "live" Hearts events since the early 70's. The Internet version of the game seems to have a plethora of Rules, variations, and options. It all depends on which Site you happen to be a participant.

Here are the basic Grand Prix Rules, the Rules which were stated in my book "Win at Hearts" (1983), and the revised edition "The Complete Win At Hearts (1998).

1. The game consists of 100 points, and 4 players.

2. The Queen of Spades counts as 13 points, and each Heart counts as one point. The game ends when any player reaches 100 or more points.

3. The Jack of Diamonds variation is an option, and not used in standard tourmanent play.

4. The pass direction is left, right, across, and REPEAT. (There are no "hold" or keepr hands). Forgoet about all of that hogwash which states that the "hold" hand enhances the skill or that it has always been that way, so it must be right. LOL If you are in a close game in the end stages, and you are dealt:
Spades - Q 2 Hearts - K Q J 9 Diamonds - 4 3 2 Clubs - 5 4 3 2

What do you think is going to happen on a hold hand? How does 22 points sound? LOL

5. The lead is the deuce of clubs, with no painting of a point card on the first trick.

6. Hearts may not be led until a heart or the spade Queen has been played. (or a player has nothing but hearts in his / her hand.) The spade Queen breaks hearts.

7. In the event that a player holds nothing but the spade Queen and all hearts, he / she may play a heart or their spade Queen. There is nof orced play of the spade Queen in this scenario.

8. Moons - If a player shoots the Moon, he / she must ADD the 26 points to the scores of the opponent UNLESS the score of the game is 74 or more points. ONLY THEN, may a player have a SUBTRACTION option. If the Shooter can end the game AND FINISH IN FIRST PLACE by adding the points on, then he/she must choose that option. (This prevents the scenario of a Shooter in 2nd - 4th place adding the points on, and helping another player to win First Place.

9. In "live" tournaments, scores are Match Pointed and based on position at the end of the game. First place receives 6 MP; 2nd Place receives 3 MP; 3rd Place earns 2 MP, and 4th Place receives 1 MP. In a multi-round tournament, this encourages player to try for First Place, as multiple second or third places will not help a player to qualify for the Playoffs.

10. A renege (revoke) results in a 26 point penalty to the offender UNLESS there are no point cards left in the hand at the time of the revoke.

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Comments-

There is nothing wrong with the Jack of diamonds game; it is not a standard game in Grand Prix. As for Shooting the Sun --- 52 points? That is more than half of the vale of a game. It would be comparable to having the Nil in Spades assigned a value of 250 points!

Match Point Play will encourage "Lowman" strategy. Unfortunately, one game matches can bring out some very bad technique, such as PNP, dump and duck, and play for second place.

As for rated games, my comment is to award rating points to the WINNER - only! 2ND - 4TH PLACES WOULD LOSE THE SAME NUMBER OF POINTS.

------------------------------------

Carry on Hearts Players!

Straeh31
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Post by Straeh31 » Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:25 pm

Depending on which region of the country or world you are from, card games vary. This readily becomes apparent when you travel and someone says "let's play cards". You better make sure you know the rules first; I have been surprised a few times.

Going forward, who knows what the so called "standard" game may look like. The internet has brought a wealth of new players and each site has it's own modifications.

I grew up on hearts with the Q of spades @ 13 and the ten of hearts @ 10. And yes there was a hold hand during the pass rotation.

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Joe Andrews
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Standard Game

Post by Joe Andrews » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:14 pm

Interesting...

Fascinating....The Ten of Hearts as a penalty card as well (for ten points). Yes, you are right, there are variations all over the board for Internet Hearts games. Because there are so few "live" Tournaments, save for a few small gatherings of friends, we will continue on the same path, with Internet Hearts as the popular choice.
A National Hearts Players' Association is a generation away (regardless of what I organized in New England more than 30 years ago. ) As for the endless debate about "low man" Hearts, and the tactics / strategy of many "ersatz" players, the only option is to find a League or group of individuals who know the game and its finer points.
And HW does have some pretty darn good Heart players! Ya just have to find them!

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Post by Straeh31 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:15 pm

The use of the 10 of hearts @ 10 took care of alot of the PnP problems.

Immediate revenge within the same hand is a wonderful thing.

The point total @ 35 still kept the game long enough that a moon did not necessarily guarantee a win.

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Post by Luna » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:35 pm

10 points for the 10 of hearts? That's an interesting concept. It's like having one spot heart amongst the 13.

I played hearts with a group of guys at work for about 5 years. They had a couple of interesting rules I had never encountered before.

There was a 10 point penalty to the player who passed to the shooter. This rule did discourage people from not covering their pass, and being careful how they passed. There would be the periodic hand where the passer was being penalized unfairly because the mooner got dealt A-10 of hearts.

The other variation we played was the dealer called the pass direction before looking at his cards. If he looked looked at his cards 1st then it was automatically a keeper.

I like the rules simplicity of the classic game. I rarely play spot or JOD games here.

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Duplicate Hearts

Post by gecco » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:02 am

I was wondering about the Grand Prix Hearts...

I have been playing bridge for years, and when you play bridge in competition it is all "duplicate" ... for anyone who does not know bridge; Duplicate is where all the tables play the same deal ... and the match points you obtain are based on how well you did compared to all the other players in your seat position.

Wouldn't duplicate hearts also solve some of the play problems?

The other problem with random deals is that, say, you are playing in a room of 50 tables... you could be the best player on the planet, but just get some nasty random deals, and you would rate at the bottom... while the worst player in the room got such a favorable deal that he ranks top...

Duplicate takes care of that too, because each player position is playing the same hand, the better player should play it better than the worse player...

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Luna
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Re: Duplicate Hearts

Post by Luna » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:53 pm

gecco wrote:The other problem with random deals is that, say, you are playing in a room of 50 tables... you could be the best player on the planet, but just get some nasty random deals, and you would rate at the bottom... while the worst player in the room got such a favorable deal that he ranks top...

Duplicate takes care of that too, because each player position is playing the same hand, the better player should play it better than the worse player...
Duplicate hearts would certainly be an interesting variation. I would find it fascinating to see how different players play a given hand, and the different scores that arise from people playing the same hand.

I guess the difficulty would be counting up the points from the individual tricks. In bridge it's just a matter of laying your card either north-south or east-west depending on who won the trick. It's simple to count the tricks in this manner. In hearts the cards would have to face 4 different directions and then the points would have to be counted. Either that or someone would have design a tray with 4 spots for east, west, north, and south. It seems like there could be scoring mistakes this way.

Anyone ever tried duplicate hearts?

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Joe Andrews
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Duplicate Hearts

Post by Joe Andrews » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:33 pm

Yes, I have directed "live" Duplicate Hearts events. They were very well received during the heyday of the NE Hearts Players' Association. Here are the basic tenets:

The Duplicate or "Comparison" concept has been used in the game of Bridge for more than fifty years. It is the ideal method measuring the skill level of individuals or partners. The American Contract Bridge League (Memphis, TN) conducts thousands of these events every year at all levels, including National Championships.

Duplicate Heartsâ„¢ is an innovative concept, combining the best features of the standard (fresh-deal) game within a new format. In ordinary hearts, as in Rubber Bridge, you compete against only the players at your table. Each hand is dealt at random, played once, scored, and is gone forever. Luck often decides the outcome....

In Duplicate Heartsâ„¢, each hand travels from one table to another, and is played under identical conditions at each table. At the conclusion of the event, your scores are then compared to those of each player who held the same cards as you did. This is the ideal game for those who wish to become accomplished players, as well as those who seek an accurate measure of their skill. The Duplicate Board serves two important functions. First, it makes it possible to pass the four hands of each deal from table to table in order to allow replay of the same hand by others. Second, it establishes the condition under which the board is played. The board has a number, compass direction, and pass direction for a particular hand.

In the typical tournament, each player is assigned a number, and goes to a designated table for the first round. Because hearts is a "solo" game, an individual's movement is used for more events. (There is also a Partners' Duplicate format.) This version can be played with a pass as well, although it is much easier to have all "hold" hands. (The comparison aspect changes with the pass.) A round consists of four hands, and then you move to a different table to meet new opponents and a fresh set of four new hands. All the rules of the game still apply. At the end of the session, your scores for all of the hands that you played are compared to the scores of those players who held the same hands. The boards are then match pointed, and the results are posted to a "recap" sheet. At the end of the session, the best scorer in each direction (N,S, E, and W) play in a regular finals.

This is a very easy version to master, and can be used for major tournament qualifying rounds. It is also easily adapted for Internet play, as the computer can easily distribute and control each hand. Match pointing is automatically posted when all tables have completed each hand.

Duplicate works well for many card games including Spades, Pinochle, and Cribbage......

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Post by Luna » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:43 pm

Thanks!!!

I forgot about passing. I guess to keep it a true comparision it would have to be all hold hands.

Has anyone tried to create an online duplicate hearts room?

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Joe Andrews
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On Line Duplicate Hearts

Post by Joe Andrews » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:46 pm

Regarding Internet Duplicate Hearts, there is no site which offers this variation / format. It would require considerable programming, as the
format is somewhat different than Duplicate Bridge or Spades.

However, the results would be spectacular, as a player's skill could be measured more accurately. More to come on this topic later....
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